April 28, 1887: The Comet reported news of interest to local baseball fans. “The Johnson city (sic) Reds were defeated last Friday at Bristol, on the Base Ball (sic) Knob, by a score of 40 to 8. It was a glorious victory for Bristol. About 8000 people witnessed the game and cheered enthusiastically as the good plays were made. The features of the game were many. Time of game 4 hours. Umpire R.E. Dixon.”

April 28, 1892: The Comet reported, “The Johnson City Auxiliary to the American Bible Society held its first anniversary at the M.E. Church on Tuesday night, the 25th inst.”

“Inst.” was a common abbreviation used that meant “in the same month.”

April 28, 1904: The Comet reported on several rules that the County Court had recently adopted regarding smallpox vaccinations. ”It is also ordered by the County Court, assembled in Quarterly Session, and the County Board of Health, acting jointly, that by the 1st day of June, 1904, every person within said county who has not had the smallpox, and except the aged, and infirm persons shall be required to have on their body a mark showing successful vaccination, (provided any one [sic] who has been vaccinated three times within the past year without results, and shall exhibit the certificate of a reputable physician to the effect, and shall not be affected by this order). And provided further, that any one (sic) who presents a certificate from some reputable physician sworn to, that it would endanger the life of said person to be vaccinated, on account of some constitutional disease, shall be exempt from this order.”

Another section of the order was also printed so readers could be advised. “No persons over the age of 12 years …. shall attend any school, religious assembly, public meeting of any kind or shall appear in stores, on the public highway, in cities, towns, or anywhere else, off their own premises without bearing evidence of successful vaccination, or having a certificate of immunity.”

April 28, 1918: With a dateline from Johnson City, the Bristol Herald Courier reported that several men had recently left Johnson City for military training. “Thirty drafted men from Washington county (sic) left this morning over the C., C. & O. for Camp Jackson, Columbia, S.C. They were escorted to the train by the fife and drum corps of the Soldier’s Home and the local Boy Scouts. Comfort kits were issued to each one by the Red Cross chapter.”

The Soldier’s Home is now known as the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center.

The Bristol Herald Courier continues to be in publication status.

April 28, 1921: Exactly 100 years ago today, The Birmingham News reported news with a Huntsville, Alabama, dateline. “Walter Estes, an overseas soldier who has been under treatment in a hospital at Johnson City, Tenn., for shell shock sustained in the fighting in France ic n (sic) 1918, was picked up yesterday wandering in the neighborhood of New Hope. He was brought to the city and turned over to the care of the Red Cross service unit, which placed him in the city hospital. Estes was found to be suffering from his feet and was unable to tell anything about himself at the time. Later he recalled his name and said that he has a brother in Hot Springs, Miss. He escaped the hospital in Johnson City, he said, and he was walking home when he lost his memory and his way.”

The hospital in Johnson City referred to was more than likely what is now known as the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, since Mr. Estes was a veteran.

The Birmingham News was, and still is, a newspaper in Birmingham, Alabama.

April 28, 1923: The Journal and Tribune, with a Johnson City dateline, reported on activity over the past year of the Johnson City Rotary Club. “The club has made a remarkable record during the past year, having had an average attendance of 99 per cent. Thirty-three members have an average attendance of 99 percent. The jitney box, collections and distributions have amounted to $154 — flowers, having been sent to nine funerals and eighteen cases of illness.”

The Johnson City Rotary Club referred to above is now known as the Rotary Club of Johnson City.

One hundred, fifty-four dollars in 1923 is now worth about $2,368, according to www.in2013dollars.com.

The Journal and Tribune was published in Knoxville. It ceased publication in 1924.

April 28, 1926: With a dateline from Johnson City, the Knoxville Journal alerted readers to a jail escapee. “Oscar Vance, a federal prisoner in the jail here since Friday, sawed his way to liberty though bars of a cell window sometime last night, and by knotting three army blankets into a rope, let himself down 20 feet to the ground in the areaway back of the police department building. Vance had requested that the light in his cell be cut off so that he could sleep.”

The article continued, “Vance was arrested Friday with Dave Gouge in Limestone Cove, charged with running a still. It is believed that women callers passed a saw to Vance.”

The Knoxville Journal is now published as the Knoxville News Sentinel.

April 28, 1935: Reporting with a dateline from Johnson City, The Baltimore Sun reported on the death of a prominent area resident. “Mrs. Josephus Hopwood, 89, widow of the founder of Milligan College, died last night at her home near the college campus.”

“Mrs. Hopwood and her late husband founded four colleges and helped develop others. They converted Buffalo Institute into Milligan College, founded Lynchburg College in Virginia, Southeastern Christian College in Georgia and Grundy Institute, at Grundy, Va.”

Milligan College is now known as Milligan University..

The Baltimore Sun was, and still is, published in Baltimore, Maryland.

April 28, 1949: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported on vandalism at a downtown jewelry store. “Johnson City police somewhat baffled, are looking for the person or persons who hurled an object through a plate glass window near the heart of the city’s business district at 9 p.m., yesterday and escaped with a quantity of jewelry, including two or three diamond rings.”

The article went on to state, “the burglary occurred at Nelson’s jewelry (sic) store (sic) on Roan street (sic).”

“According to Patrolman Marvin Sluder, no clues were left at the scene — not even the object used to break the heavy display window glass.”

April 28, 1959: The Johnson City Press-Chronicle reported on a recent decision by the Washington County magistrates. “With amazing solidarity, Washington County magistrates in a special session yesterday voted to retain the present tax rate of $3.80 and adopt a general operating budget of $261,600.”

Three dollars and eighty cents in 1959 is now worth about $34.35. Two hundred, sixty-one thousand, six hundred dollars in 1959 currently has the purchasing power of approximately $2,364,414. (Source: www.in2013dollars.com)


Rebecca Henderson is a contributing columnist for Johnson City Press.

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